Tuesday, November 14, 2006

And Now a Word About the Clown Princes of Chicago

A recent survey (the link to which I do not have) stated that the White Sox had taken over status as the top sports team in Chicago. I'm not sure what the survey was based upon, or whether the study was scientific or not, but one thing is for certain: the Cubs have definitely dropped. (How the White Sox rate over the Bears is the real mystery, if you ask me.)

And yet, maybe there are some signs of hope for the Northsiders. Coups such as Lou Pinella and Alan Trammell joining the coaching staff certainly helped, but in what I think is probably more a step back now there's word that Aramis Ramirez and Kerry Wood resigned with the Cubs this past weekend.

Despite his decent numbers, I can't get past the enigma of Ramirez being a poor man's A-Rod. And while A-Rod has never been called lazy, A-Ram has. He posted his gawdy numbers this year when the season was well out of reach for the Cubs, and his defense has never been called stellar, although he supposedly had less errors this year than in previous ones. Was that a case of him getting to less balls? Let's look at the numbers and see. (Note: the following numbers are strictly qualifying NL players.)
  • A positive for A-Ram: Fielding Percentage: .965, tied for the best % with Scott Rolen and Ryan Zimmerman for 3rd basemen who qualified for leader status (2 out of every 3 games played)
  • A negative for A-Ram: Total Chances: 375 to Rolen's 428, and Rolen played in 14 less games and 136.1 less innings than A-Ram. Zimmerman, who played in 14.1 more innings than A-Ram had 427 put-outs.
  • A positive for A-Ram: only 13 errors.
  • A negative for A-Ram: a Range Factor of 2.41 ((PO + A) / innings played), lowest in the NL.
  • A positive for A-Ram: 110 put outs and 252 assists, both career highs
  • A negative for A-Ram: Zimmerman had 152 put outs, and Rolen has 320 assists
  • A-Ram's Zone Rating, a defensive metric put together by the geniuses/ geeks at STATS, Inc., was .772 compared to Pedro Feliz's .817 who had 96 more chances than A-Ram. Yikes! The stodgy Morgan Ensberg had an .821 ZR!
I think it's safe to say A-Ram's nice fielding percentage was more a result of getting to less balls than it was to stellar defense. Sure, he may have played better than before, but this was a contract year. And as everyone knows, players perform big in contract years. Let's also balance out A-Ram's big offensive numbers with his contract year status. What will the Cubs get now that A-Ram has all that money, now that he'll have D-Lee back as protection in the lineup? Time will tell.

As for the Kerry Wood signing, who woulda thought they'd ever hear the words again, "Now pitching for the Cubs, Kerry Wood"? Then again, spring training hasn't started yet, and he hasn't had a chance to injure himself again. I'm betting he doesn't make it out of April healthy.

One more Cubs note. Sammy Sosa says he's clean. He says people want to jump on him because they're jealous of what he's done -- three straight years of 60+ homers. He says he wants to play again to get to 600 homers. Well, of course he's clean; he took a year off to get all the crap out of his system. Either that or he could have taken some cutting edge, designer drug undetectable to current MLB drug tests. You know the Dominican Republic is the lab rat for performance enhancing drugs and their makers, and Sosa has just enough money to back such testing for his own personal vindication. I'm not saying he did, I'm just saying.

(Update: The Cubs are about to sign former Texas Ranger 2B Mark DeRosa to a 3 year, $13 million dollar contract. The second coming of Todd Walker -- Baseball-Reference.com likens him to Tony Graffanino -- makes an appearance on the North side. Nothing like sticking with the status quo, Cubbies.)


Blogger Jeeves said...

I suppose that the Sox were listed as Chicago's favorite team due to television ratings and radio ratings or something like that.
So perhaps they looked at the numbers in bulk rather than per game, and since the baseball season is far longer than the football season, that may be the source of the disparity.

I think the Cubs should bring in A-Rod at shortstop so they could name the left side of their infield side Ram-Rod...(thank you Super Troopers)

7:20 PM, November 14, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

My favorite football team is not the Bears (the Cowboys), and my favorite baseball team is certainly the White Sox. I still cannot fathom a Chicago where the Sox have greater overall love than the Bears.

1:10 PM, November 16, 2006  

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